Back in September we first reported on the plight of the Sacramento Kings and their situation concerning the team remaining in Sacramento. That situation has yet to improve. However, the league’s Board of Governors, also known as the owners, has granted the team an extension until April 18 to file the necessary paper work to officially relocated the team.
The Maloofs, Joe, George, and Gavin, who own the team, have been pushing for a new arena for the Kings to play in for some time. The NBA was also a supporter of a new arena in Sacramento (shocker) until they backed away from the table after the board for the California State Fair Grounds refused to relocate in order to build a new arena on its site. No further deals between the Kings and the city of Sacramento have even come close to accomplishing any form of progress.
Now with the extension, the Maloofs have bought themselves more time to think about the future of the franchise and its roots in Sacramento. The owners have been in discussions to move the team to Anaheim where they could play in the Honda Center which is the home of the NHL’s Mighty Ducks. That facility is 18 years old, yet, it has more luxury amenities than those at Power Balance Arena, formerly Arco Arena.
Sacramento Mayor, Kevin Johnson, who is a former NBA point guard, has assessed the situation as bleak saying, “It seems like we’ve kind of lost out on where we’d ideally like to be. It’d be great if we were competing with Anaheim. And if we did this and they did that, we have some say in it. I don’t think Sacramento has a whole lot of say right now.”
Essentially, if the Maloofs cannot work out a deal with Anaheim and the Honda center which is run by billionaire Henry Samueli, who owns the Ducks, they will be forced to remain in Sacramento. It appears that this is not the options the Maloofs are looking for as over saturating the Southern California basketball market appears to be their goal.
The Kings would not have to pay territorial rights fees to the Lakers or Clippers if the team were moved to Anaheim. Such fees would likely kill any potential move Kurt Helin of NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk reports.
Billionaires like to make money, not spend it. That is the sole reason that owners do not regularly foot the majority of the bill themselves when it comes to building new arenas. It is clearly the right of every tax payer to pay for the playground of the rich. If they won’t pay up, the rich will simply ship out along with their team. It has happened plenty of times before.
The NBA’s Board of Governors will meet again from April 14-15. If the Maloofs have reached a deal with the city of Anaheim and the Honda Center by that point, it would be at this meeting that a vote would take place on whether to approve the relocation of the Kings.
For now, all the fans of the Kings can do is wait and continue to show their support for their home team. It is obviously not an easy feeling knowing that Sonicsgate 2.0 is playing out before their eyes. One has to hope that the final outcome does not come to be known as Kingsgate. However, if the Maloofs can strike a deal it would mark the fifth time that the franchise has relocated. The Kings have been in Sacramento since the 1985-86 season.